Right then down to the real purpose of this post and that is my thoughts and a review of this publication as you can see from the picture above I have been reading this regularly since its release. The magazine started life as a Spanish Publication though that changed from issue 54 to the current publishers Karwansaray from the Netherlands and for me the magazine has flourished ever since.
So what has kept my interest so well, I would have to say that above all it is the format and composition of each issue. I feel engaged from the first page of each issue right to the last, even reading the adverts as they are well laid out.
Okay that is sad to admit I read the adverts, but if we think about that for a minute someone has paid good money to attract your attention so if they are skimmed past then the magazine is not a good vehicle for the advertiser!! What is abundantly clear is there is also no favouritism with advert placement as so often is seen in other publications for the hobby and there is no back half dozen page syndrome that when you hit the first one you know the rest is adverts and invariably the reading stops at that point.
Surely there is more to the magazine than good advertising structure that keeps you entertained and you would be very correct a whole lot more !! So let me start at the beginning.
I have enjoyed my journey with Guy from his early steps as editor to him becoming part of the required reading with comfortable familiarity. I certainly know an awful lot more Sun Tzu quotes now. Recently for the first time I had the privilege of discussing the Warbases Hansom Cab display model that I constructed and painted with him, and have to say it was a very engaging conversation. A very affable gentleman indeed and one I hope to converse with again in the future.
Regular readers will know that each issue is based around a theme or theatre of conflict. This format is a good one and although I don't game every period of conflict known to man I do get a lot of knowledge from the themes articles. What is always a temptation is the overview of suitable miniatures for the theme, (the number of times I have been tempted to make impulse purchases is testament to that). The theme however never dominates the entire magazine to the extent that there is little else to read far from it. Typically each theme has four to six different articles covering a gamut of aspects relevant to the theme.
This is an unbiased and high quality aspect as far as I am concerned. Always containing honest reviews of figures for a wide variety of historical periods with price details, notes on the scale and internet links. It is often after I have read a review of an intended purchase here that I finally commit or keep my cash.
There are two regular guest columns of Rick Priestly and Richard Clarke. Sometimes they have me fully engaged and sometimes not but that is simply down to my personal choices. What they write about is never dull but just occasionally the subject matter does not command my full attention.
This is often an eclectic mix of items but never disappoints and its very nice to see other fellow bloggers having work published. I spend a lot of time reading these articles even the periods I do not play or even intend too. Why? because they are always well constructed and very easy too read and often I have pulled a little gem from one period and put it to use in a period I do play.
A great feature that I always enjoy, regardless if it is showing me something new or something I have done a hundred times before, I like these kinds of articles and find myself fully engaged. I will not deny I have learnt many things over the years through this type of article though.
Conclusions and summary
Well time for some good old fashioned honesty here: You see I stopped subscribing to wargaming magazines a long time ago, there were several triggers for this the last one was the farce that turned Wargames illustrated into a glorified admag from cover to cover. Instead I used to make a trip to WH Smiths and purchase copies of magazines that caught my eye or had content I wanted to read. It is funny but in the last two years I have not bought anything other than WSS, I have read other publications but never bought them. This year I was asked what I wanted for Fathers day I had no hesitation in requesting a subscription to the one magazine that really does provide a unique look on our hobby every couple of months. It has something for everyone.
I give this publication 10 Ravens out of 10 as I really cannot fault it at all and am more than happy to pay the cover price for the consistent quality I receive. Further than that it would be a recommended read if its not on your regular purchase list already.